Xfinity Discovery Hub

December 04, 2018

How to Prevent False Alarms with Your Home Security System & Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detector

Picture this: you’re woken up in a panic by your security alarm going off. The worst thought races through your head, so you run to make sure the children are safe and that the authorities are on their way… only to find out your dog set the system off. Home security false alarms can be scary, irritating, and costly. Don’t let the fear of false alarms prevent you from using your system to protect your home and family. Instead, learn how to prevent false alarms by following these simple tips for false alarm prevention.

Automate your home security based on your family’s schedule

Human error is one of the top causes of false alarms. Some of the most common culprits for setting off a home security alarm are children, babysitters, dog walkers, and guests. The first step in avoiding false alarms is to make sure everyone who lives in your home (and/or needs to enter your home without you present) is trained on how to correctly arm and disarm your system.

Your family has its own unique schedule, so it’s important to have a security system that meets your unique needs. With Xfinity Home’s automation options, you can set rules for specific times every day: Automatically arm your alarm at 6am every morning before you leave for work and disarm it at 3pm when the kids get home from school. Whatever your schedule is, Xfinity Home can keep you one step ahead.

The three alarm settings—arm away, arm stay, and arm night—activate all or only part of your system, depending on where you are and what you’re doing. Arm away enables your alarm and all motion sensors within your home and will alert you to any unwanted activity. Arm stay disables the motion sensors in your home, allowing you to move about freely without triggering your devices. And arm night disables your motion sensors but alerts you if your home’s perimeter has been breached.

Use pet-immune motion detectors

Motion detectors and window and door sensors can add a layer of security, but unless your sensors are designed to be pet-immune, they can be triggered every single time your dog or cat moves around. Before you place a motion sensor in any area of your home, make sure pet immunity is included as one of its features, or you’ll be dealing with constant false alarms and unneeded alerts.

Xfinity Home’s wireless motion sensors can tell the difference between a human and a pet weighing up to 85 pounds. Each sensor can cover up to a 50-by-50-foot area of your home, making them a good choice for rooms with a lot of windows and doors. When placed in a high-traffic area, like the front hallway or kitchen, they’ll send you an alert only if and when unusual activity is detected—not if your pet simply gets up for a drink of water.

Place smoke detectors strategically

Almost everyone has had a false alarm from a smoke detector. Burning food on the stovetop, smoke from a wood-burning stove, steam and humidity, and clogged detectors can all contribute to false alarms. Here are some simple ways to keep your smoke detectors working properly:

  • Keep them clean of dust and insects
  • Install them at least 10 feet away from high-humidity rooms like bathrooms or laundry rooms
  • Install them at least 20 feet away from your oven, fireplace, or furnace
  • Don’t install a smoke detector in your garage, since your car’s fumes can also set it off
  • Replace smoke detectors at least every 10 years to take advantage of technology improvements and avoid faulty equipment

In the event that an alarm does go off for the right reasons, you’ll want to act immediately. Xfinity Home’s smoke and heat detectors can send real-time alerts directly to your smartphone so you can take immediate action. Plus, Xfinity’s Smoke Monitoring works with your detectors to alert the authorities in the event of an emergency.

Gone are the days of annoying and expensive false alarms from outdated systems. Learn more about how Xfinity Home can notify you of real emergencies—and help you sleep easier.